14 ways to reduce indoor air pollution

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reduce-carbon-footprint-real-wood-burnerAs you know, we run a couple of woodburners here at Chez Green, and although I wouldn’t swap them for the world, they DO produce a lot of dust and dirt.

Which is why I’m getting in the mood for a good spring clean.

By the end of March I’ve really had enough of the continual grime in the house and I’m looking forward to having the last fire of the season. But for now I’ll have to be content with a quick wipe of the surfaces and throwing open the doors and windows whenever possible, because it still gets cold in the evenings.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get hold of enough wood this year so we had to supplement our heating with coal.

I know, right?

Lead, mercury and arsenic

I felt really bad about it, but in all honesty, if I didn’t burn coal, I’d have put on an electric heater which is probably fuelled by a coal-fired power station anyway.

But the coal has been horrible. We’ve been able to taste it, the smell has got into our clothes and hair and you wouldn’t believe the amount of dust it creates – you can see black bits floating in the air which land everywhere, including on your plate when you eat.

I’ve been concerned about the effects of this coal dust on our health because Mr Green is susceptible to lung issues.

I’ve discovered that coal dust contains metals including lead, mercury, nickel, tin, cadmium, mercury, antimony, and arsenic and that fine, invisible coal dust particles lodge in the lungs and are not naturally expelled, increasing the risk of health problems.

Fatigue, dizziness and allergies

Indoor air pollution causes nearly 8% of worldwide mortalities, and with our current lifestyles meaning we spend 90% of our time indoors, I’m reminded of the statistic that air pollution in your home can be up to 5 times higher than outdoor, so it’s a really big issue that we should all take seriously.

In the following infographic you’ll see that indoor air pollution can come from a wide range of sources including pets, beauty and cleaning products, cookware and even your morning shower. These pollutants can cause a wide range of symptoms including fatigue, dizziness and allergies.

Thankfully there’s lots you can do to improve the health of your home and its occupants from radon tests to ventilating your bathroom to choosing low VOC paints and washing your bedding frequently.

As well as a visible spring clean, let’s look at the invisible this year. Check out the “healthy air checklist” on the infographic below and tell me which of the list you’re going to prioritise this week…

Indoor Air Pollution Infographic

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